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Contact: Denise Germann, 406 888 5838
Glacier National Park Rangers captured and euthanized a black bear near the head of Lake McDonald area on Monday, June 1.
On Saturday, May 30, at approximately 6 p.m. a park ranger was notified by a private landowner that a black bear approached his residence along the shore of Lake McDonald, attacked his dog on the porch and carried the dog into a wooded area. Park rangers were unable to locate the bear or the dog, and a bear trap was set in the area Saturday night. A five-year old male black bear weighing approximately 200 pounds was trapped on Monday and identified as the suspect bear. Park personnel verified that the correct animal had been captured through comparison to photographs from the land owner and evidence from the bear’s scat.
The aggressive manner in which the bear approached the residence and entered onto the deck of the house, attacked the dog and consumed the dog indicated the animal was conditioned. There were also two previous incidents of the bear approaching the residence. Rangers believed the bear to be a potential threat to human safety. The black bear was euthanized in accordance with Glacier National Park’s Bear Management Plan.
A conditioned bear displays behaviors that include seeking and obtaining non-natural foods, destroying property or displaying aggressive non-defensive behavior towards humans. Conditioned bears are not relocated due to human safety concerns. Black bears are not good candidates for animal capture facilities such as zoos and animal parks due to the plentiful nature of the species throughout the United States.
Wildlife is attracted to food and food odors. Landowners within the park, park neighbors and visitors are reminded to keep areas clean and free of food and trash. Regulations require that all edibles, food containers, and cookware be stored in a hard-sided vehicle or food locker when not in use, day or night. Place all trash in bear-proof containers. Campers are reminded that fire rings should be free of trash before vacating a campsite. Report all bear sightings in the park to the nearest ranger. For more information about recreating in bear country, please visit https://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/bears.htm.